On Sept. 2, representatives from five nonprofit groups who serve the needs of the Kincardine community, gathered at Victoria Park with Ontario Power Generation representative Lynda Cain, to accept donations made on behalf of the OPG Corporate Citizenship program. The amount donated to the five groups was $10,400.
“OPG takes seriously its responsibility to be a good corporate citizen and neighbour,” said Lynda Cain, senior communications advisor corporate relations and communications at OPG. “We believe that good corporate citizenship is directly based on operating our electricity generating facilities in a safe, environmentally sound, productive, and reliable manner. We also believe that a good company gives back to the communities in which it operates, clearly making a difference in the quality of life in those communities.”
“OPG, through its Corporate Citizenship Program, helps make a difference by supporting a variety of charitable and non-profit initiatives in the communities where we operate. Our CCP provides both donation and sponsorship support to initiatives where OPG and our host communities have special interest. This includes initiatives that are innovative and are consistent with the company's commitment to be an engaged and productive member of the community. Ultimately this means minimizing our impact on the environment and ensuring that our contribution to the broader community is consistently positive.”
The donations come at a time when many not-for-profit groups are struggling to meet fundraising targets, because of the cancelation of their key events, due to pandemic restrictions.
Recipients of the donations included Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey ($2,500), Kincardine and District Chamber of Commerce ($650), Big Brothers Big Sisters Kincardine and District ($750), Kincardine Summer Music Festival ($1,500) and Huron Shores Hospice ($5,000).
Cheryl Cottrill, co-chair of Huron Shores Hospice said the donation is a sponsorship for its upcoming Hope for Hospice 2.0 event, on Sept. 16. OPG has been named the production sponsor for the fundraiser, which had to move to a virtual format in 2020 because of restrictions.
At Women’s House, community and fund development coordinator, Michelle Lamont, says the money has been earmarked to cover the cost of keeping shelter doors open.
“The sponsorship donation from OPG will go towards covering operational costs, filling the gap between government funding and actual costs to run Women’s House shelter and programs,” said Lamont. “As you know, we need to fundraise in order to balance our budget and meet our financial needs, and this year we need to raise a little over $120,000 to make that happen. The generous donation from OPG will help us to meet that goal, and continue to provide support to the women and children in our community that need our services, so we’re very grateful for their sponsorship.”
Big Brothers and Sisters executive director, Yolanda Ritsema, says the money will be directed to finance a new event, scheduled for Sept. 15.
“We will use the funds from OPG for our annual Mini-Masters event,” said Ritsema. “This will be the first time since the pandemic began that we have been able to run this event. We are very excited to kick off our fall group season with Mini Masters.”
OPG’s program shines the spotlight on areas including the environment, education and community (health and safety, arts and cultural, humanitarian, and youth amateur sports initiatives). In non-pandemic times, the CCP would provide support to approximately 80 registered charitable and non-profit initiatives (not including four scholarships / student awards) to over eight Bruce County communities and two Indigenous groups.
Tammy Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent